ABU DHABI // Rachidia won the Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Festival Zayed the First Arabian Cup in a photo finish beating Baher in last night's opening meeting at the Abu Dhabi Equestrian Club. The jockey David Badel came with a late run to get up in the last couple of strides to win the handicap rated 0-80 over the 1,600m distance ahead of Baher, ridden by the apprentice Wencelas Walter for the local trainer Eric Lemartinel.
Lemartinel was denied a winner twice on the night after AF Amthal - ridden by David Smith - came with a late run to edge out Rafed in another photo finish. Simpson's Jazeerat Alsadyaat faded into sixth after leading from the start and his second entry Le Gusta Bailar finished third. "We ran on to traffic turning on the final bend and once we got clear he was just flying," said Smith. "This horse won at Jebel Ali and ran a few good races there, so he was not without a chance."
Badel was completing a double and the trainer Saifaldin Deeb too was on a double on the night after Royston Ffrench had steered Jinad to victory half an hour earlier. Tod Simpson set the ball rolling by taking the opener with Anood Al Ghaid under Mathew Henry in the maiden race for local bred fillies. The Al Asayl trainer was denied of a second winner half an hour later when Zain Al Reef produced strong run under Badel to take the maiden race for the colts.
Ibn Batutta came from last to first under Wayne Smith to claim the final race for the thoroughbreds for the Emirati trainer Musabah al Muhairi. Palm Court - ridden by Ffrench - was 2-1/2 lengths in second while Montmorency came in third. firstname.lastname@example.org